Search for in  
  What's New

Resources > Ask Jeff

How can a person hold to their Christian beliefs without being judgmental?
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 20:16

Now, here is a question that all of us struggle with from time to time. I am not being judgmental when I say that about you, just honest, and you know it - but relax I am saying the same thing about myself. There are a couple of ways at looking at the question. First I think we need to remember that we are not to whitewash other peopleís sins. As a matter of fact we are to be discerning, or we are to recognize the difference between good and evil.

I think that one of the most well known Bible verses in Scripture, both by believers and pagans, is "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Then we will hear how they believe that no one has the right to tell them if they are doing anything wrong. This is the silliest interpretation of the verse you will ever hear.

If you are in a courtroom and a judge declares an accused person guilty of a crime it is not judgmental. For a Christian to recognize sinful behavior is not being judgmental, it is being honest.

To not be judgmental, as mentioned in Scripture, has to do with a pharisaic attitude of condemning people. One of the things that I have noticed through the years is that this is the point where most of us mess up. Even though we donít want to be that way, we end up looking like the Pharisees.

Now, I need to inject that there are individuals and churches out there that are so busy handling church discipline and judging others that they have become Pharisees and they never know it. The end result is that they have lost their focus. That is why Jesus tells us to be mindful of noticing specks in otherís eyes, while we have a telephone pole sticking out of ours. The speck inspector is the great example of what Jesus was talking about when He said donít be judgmental. And what is frightening is that most speck inspectors donít consider themselves speck inspectors. We do have the freedom as Christians to be honest about those things that are evil and good. Being judgmental has everything to do with attitude.

Second, lets look to Jesus as our example. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, he never said she was not guilty. He didnít explain away her sin, nor did he endorse or encourage her sin. He said to her, "Go and sin no more." He then asked, "Where are those who condemn you?" (they had all departed embarrassed moments before). Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go in peace."

There is the lesson on how to deal with others. You notice He rebuked, admonished, and corrected her, but He did it with a gentleness and with a concern to heal and not destroy her.

It is said in the New Testament about Jesus that a bruised reed he will not break. A judgmental spirit breaks bruised people. There is to be none of that type of activity in the church or among the people of God. Most people I know have a full time job on their hands keeping the telephone poles out of their own eyes to be worrying about otherís specks. But if you do have time to spare, then remember what we see in Scripture. As we deal with sin in the lives of others we must use gentleness, concern, and tender loving care-because a bruised reed will easily break. We are to be positive agents of change in the world around us.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------